Now that winter is upon us, it’s time to prepare your home for the season. Ice, snow, wind, freezing rain, and cold weather can do real damage to your home and increase your heating costs – unless you take the time to winterize your home before the chill of winter takes hold. This can keep your home, health, comfort, and sanity intact throughout the winter months.
What is Winterization, Exactly?
Winterization encompasses a range of tasks completed to get a home ready for the winter months. These tasks are typically preventative measures to keep the nasty weather outside, make your home energy efficient, prevent unnecessary repairs, and protect your home from potential disasters.
Winterization can make a huge difference in how comfortable your home is and tends to be relatively inexpensive. Here are some of the tasks you can complete to keep your home and family safe and healthy this winter.
1. Have Your Furnace Inspected and Ducts Cleaned
Before you turn on your furnace, call a technician to inspect it, check for possible issues, and correct them in a timely manner. This can help maintain efficiency, reduce heating costs, prevent carbon monoxide leaks, and prolong the life of your furnace. Remember to have the heating ducts checked and cleaned.
2. Winterize the A/C
Since you’ll not be using your AC during the winter, there are steps you can take to protect your machine and extend its life. Make sure you turn off power to the unit, remove accumulated twigs and leaves, vacuum out any pools of water, and cover the unit to keep water and snow out.
3. Regularly Replace Furnace Filters
Regularly changing your furnace’s air filters throughout the winter season can significantly improve its efficiency and longevity. A dirty filter will obstruct air flow, increase your system’s energy consumption, and cause the heat exchanger to overheat. You might consider installing reusable or permanent air filters.
4. Move Furniture Away From Blocking Vents
HVAC vents can sometimes kill your furniture placement plans. But putting furniture in front of a vent can cause problems for your system and your indoor environment. When you block the free flow of air, your home will run sub-optimally and the coils can freeze or produce too much condensation, causing damage to your HVAC system’s interior workings.
5. Reverse Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are not only for summer – they can also help out in the winter. Most ceiling fans have a switch which allows you to set the fan to rotate clockwise. This will produce an updraft, bring the warmer air near the ceiling back down, and force it to recirculate throughout the room.
6. Block Air Leaks
Drafts and air leaks can make your home uncomfortable and increase your heating costs. To stop cold air infiltration, use high-quality caulk or sealant to plug up holes, gaps, and cracks. You can also seal your windows and doors with weatherstripping or a special plastic wrap.
7. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The use of furnaces and boilers increases the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter months. To keep your family safe, install or test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re in good working condition. Change the batteries if needed.
8. Repair or Update Storm Doors & Windows and Insulation
Sufficient insulation, storm doors, and storm windows can significantly boost your home’s energy efficiency. If your insulation falls short, consider adding another layer or replacing damaged insulation. You can also install storm windows and doors on the exterior of the existing ones. Repairing or updating your storm windows and doors can ensure maximum heat retention.
9. Trim Trees Around Your Home
Any tree branches hanging near your windows, roof, or driveway should be trimmed back. Wind, snow, and ice can weaken trees and cause them to break, potentially damaging your home, car, or causing injury.
10. Clean Your Gutters
Clean out the gutters to ensure water can flow freely and prevent the formation of ice dams. Ice dams form when water running off your roof backs up and freezes near the edge of the roof.
Also, clogged gutters will cause roof rot, cracked foundations, siding damage, basement flooding, and mold in your attic. Prevent these problems by cleaning out the debris in your gutter or installing leaf guards.
11. Have Your Roof Inspected and Repaired
Ice, snow, wind, and rain can do a number on your roof. Get a head start on winterizing your roof with a thorough inspection. Let a roofer look for cracked, missing, or frayed roofing materials, damaged flashing, or any other signs of deterioration. If any issues are discovered, make sure the repairs are done now to prevent expensive emergency repairs once the snow hits.
For high-quality roofing services in Lee’s Summit, MO, trust Bill West Roofing. Our friendly, trained, and skilled technicians will take all the necessary steps to ensure your roof is ready to face Old Man Winter. Contact us today for a free quote.